Publication Date



A critical overview of the literature provides a frame for the overall purpose of this empirical study, which examines the influence of ethnic identity and attitudes about women on individuals’ ability to engage in empathic thinking. Results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that undergraduate students’ (n=179) ethnic identity and attitudes about women significantly contributed to 23% of the variance in the ability to think empathically. Among the three sets of independent variables (demographic information, attitudes about women, and ethnic identity subscales), ethnic identity was found to be the only significant (p < .01) contributor to the model, explaining 17% of the 23% variance in scores measuring ability to use empathy. Findings suggested that individuals who scored higher on the ethnic identity scale, particularly in relationship to the orientation to other groups, had a greater ability to think empathically, as indicated by higher scores on the empathy scale. Implications for training in counseling programs is discussed.

Recommended Citation

Steward, R. J., Powers, R., & Jo, H. (2005). The Influence of Demographic Information, Ethnic Identity, and Pro-Feminist Attitudes on Cognitive Empathy, Dimensions of Counseling, 33(1), 17-30. doi:10.22237/mijoc/1122854580





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